Education International has launched an urgent action appeal for Haiti to assist trade unionists and teachers in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake.
On 14 August, the Nippes region, 150km east of the capital, Port-au-Prince, was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. This natural disaster has led to deaths, injuries, infrastructural damage, and the disruption of the education system.
Ten days later, on 24 August, the official death toll stood at over 2,200, and more than 12,000 people had been injured. Thousands of houses and several dozen schools collapsed as a result of the earthquake. The start of the school year, scheduled for early September, has been postponed. Roads have been destroyed, making it difficult to access victims and to assess damage and needs. The authorities are still conducting that assessment.
Education unions in close contact with public authorities
Since the earthquake, despite the difficulties of transportation and communication, Education International's four member organisations in Haiti have been in close contact with teachers in the areas affected by the earthquake.
One affiliate collected the following information remotely about its members: one teacher dead, 143 injured, 204 houses destroyed, and 1,461 houses damaged. Officials from another affiliate managed to travel to the affected region and met victims, assessed needs, and developed an action plan to help the education sector there. This work is still ongoing.
Education International’s Haiti Solidarity Fund
Education International assures member organisations in Haiti of its full support in these painful circumstances.
“We will do our utmost to respond to requests to assist trade unionists and teachers affected by the earthquake. To this end, I appeal to the generosity of all member organisations to contribute to the Solidarity Fund,” said Education International’s General Secretary, David Edwards.
Contributions to the Haiti Solidarity Fund can be made via the following account:
24, Avenue Marnix
IBAN: BE05 3101 0061 7075
With the following label: Haiti
Besides natural catastrophes, Haitian educators continue to struggle with serious challenges, including governmental harassment, the fallout from the killing of the country’s president, and ensuring health and safety during the pandemic for the education community.
Education International will monitor the situation of educators and education in Haiti closely.